At this Sunday’s Open Day, 23 May, we will be remembering the Countess of Warwick’s love of animals and just in time we have put in place an information board about her baby elephant, Kim. A storyteller will weave tales for children and the children’s trail will also feature the Countess’ animals.
We have been working to tidy the Gardens and the stonemasons should manage to finish the balustrade – weather permitting – in time for the Open Day.
The Gardens are looking lush. In the Italian Garden, the greens of the solomon seal and the fresh leaves are punctured by the yellows of the canary roses and the euphorbia and the purple alliums are coming. The laburnams are starting to flower and the cow parsley is rampant with all the rains, taking over the wild areas to the side of the Glade, where there were snowdrops and/or bluebells and where we hope the orchids will come through next. We are also working to boost wild flowers near the stumpery. This week volunteers planted yellow rattle there – Rhinanthus minor, also known as hayrattle or cockscomb. It is a wildflower itself, but also, because it is semi-parasitic, feeding off the nutrients in the roots of nearby grasses, it helps weaken grass and make space for other wild flowers. Watch the space!